Sweets are fine in moderation, but during the holidays it’s a lot tougher to exercise that willpower, isn’t it? Sometimes, the best way to limit your sugar intake is to skip the junk food all together. If you don’t start in on that plate of brownies, you don’t have to make yourself stop!
- Fruit. Yes, fruit can have a lot of sugar, but unlike a cookie it’s also got fiber and nutrients. Instead of loading up on cookies and pie, try keeping a stash of your favorite fruit handy.
- Tea. For a lot of us, sugar is more about the emotional gratification of comfort food than it is about taste. Next time you’re craving sweets, try fixing yourself a soothing cup of tea, like chamomile, peppermint, or ginger. Sit back and sip – often, that sugar craving will melt away!
- Make a smoothie. Throw a banana, some, frozen fruit, ice in the blender with enough almond milk to thin it out, and sip that sweets craving away! You can even add some raw greens like a leaf or two of kale to up the nutritional value of your smoothie. Just make sure you choose unsweetened frozen fruit, not the kind frozen in syrup.
- Oatmeal. Instead of oatmeal cookies, make a bowl of the real deal. Choose unsweetened oatmeal, then add dried fruit, nuts, and cinnamon to make a sweet treat without the refined sugar.
- Yogurt. Grab your favorite unsweetened yogurt and stir in some fruit and nuts. I’ve been watching my sugar lately, and Wildwood makes my favorite unsweetened vegan yogurt. Some of the plain vegan yogurts still have a ton of sugar in them, so read those labels!
- PB&B. Skip the jelly and make yourself an old-school peanut butter and banana sandwich. Spread a slice of bread with peanut butter, slice a banana on there, and munch away. I like to stick my PB&B in the toaster. It makes the peanut butter melty and bring out the bananas’ natural sweetness. YUM!
- Frozen Banana “Ice Cream.” No, for real. Toss a frozen, sliced banana in the food processor, and blend them until they’re creamy. If you want to make it extra decadent, throw some toasted pecans or cashews on top.
- Get nutty. Sometimes when you crave sweets, you’re really just hungry. A handful of cashews or almonds gives you the richness that you’re after without the sugar. You can up the ante (and flavor!) by whipping up some homemade seasoned nuts, like these chili lime cashews.
- Good, dark chocolate. I am not talking Hershey’s, you guys! Splurge on an expensive bar of dark chocolate, and have a square or two. Good dark chocolate is so rich and flavorful, it doesn’t take a whole bar to be satisfying.
- Frozen grapes. Pop a bunch of grapes in the freezer. Frozen grapes have a rich mouth feel and give you a little bit of sweet without any added, refined sugar.
Do you have a favorite way to satisfy a sweet tooth without the added sugar or artificial sweeteners? We’d love to hear your ideas in the comments!
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